Saturday, February 25, 2017

Can viruses be used to fight Propionibacterium?

Prospects of Phage Application in the Treatment of Acne Caused by Propionibacterium acnes

These authors point out that Propionibacterium are associated with purulent skin and periprosthetic infections and that these organisms are showing increasing resistance to antibiotics.

Bacteriophages are bacterial viruses that naturally control microbial populations. They can multiply only in bacterial (not human) cells. Phages may be thought of as naturally occurring “living drugs” with features that give them advantages over antibiotics, e.g., they are specific to their bacterial host and they multiply at the site of infection, but not elsewhere.

In this article they review the literature on Propionibacterium phages, viruses that can kill Propionibacterium.

The isolation of new phages for therapeutic purposes is an affordable and rapid process compared to research and development of new antibiotics. Phage therapy has the potential to be a safe, effective and less expensive than conventional antibiotic therapy.

There are also some limitations of the potential application of anti-Propionibacterium phages, including their high homogeneity which may cause difficulties in identifying other phages if phage resistance develops.

This is a topic worth following as this novel antibiotic approach is explored.